Sri Lanka's trade deficit decreased to USD 592 million in March 2019 from USD 871 million in the same month of the previous year. Exports rose 2.6 percent to USD 1,137 million, boosted by shipments of industrial products (4.3 percent), namely textiles and garments (9.4 percent) and petroleum products (28.7 percent), primarily to the EU and the US. Meanwhile, exports of agricultural products fell 4.4 percent, driven by lower sales of tea (-9.1 percent), minor agricultural products (-19.3 percent), natural rubber (-11.3 percent) and unmanufactured tobacco (-2.6 percent). Meantime, imports fell 12.6 percent to USD 1,729 million, amid declines in purchases of consumer goods (-26.3 percent), dragged down by lower expenditure in both food & beverages (-22.1 percent) and non-food products (-28.7 percent) while imports of intermediate goods went down 12 percent, driven by diamonds, precious stones and metals (-90.2 percent). Balance of Trade in Sri Lanka averaged -521.94 USD Million from 2003 until 2019, reaching an all time high of -50.10 USD Million in May of 2003 and a record low of -1100.70 USD Million in November of 2011.
Balance of Trade in Sri Lanka is expected to be -790.00 USD Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Sri Lanka to stand at -910.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Sri Lanka Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -820.00 USD Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.